Several planned demonstrations in Egypt Friday could test whether the nation besieged by recent violent clashes can remain peaceful.The area around Cairo’s Tahrir Square was eerily calm early Friday morning. There were no protesters and only security forces could be seen near Tahrir Square.
Since Saturday, protesters have clashed with police near the Cairo square, the epicenter of the movement that led to Mubarak’s ouster as president nine months ago. Among other demands, they have called for the interim military rulers step down. But the situation seemed to calm down Thursday after soldiers came to the area an erected barbed wire barricades to separate protesters from police.
Later Friday, there are several planned events that could bring large crowds to different areas in Egypt. One of those events is an anti-government protest lead by the Muslim Brotherhood called the “million man” sit-in. There is also a pro-military march planned for Friday afternoon that is scheduled to end at Tahrir Square. These events come a day after Egyptian military officials announced that Kamal Ganzouri, a former prime minister, had agreed to become Egypt’s prime minister and will form a new government.
That development — announced by Lt. Col. Amr Imam — comes days after former Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and his government quit en masse, and days before Monday’s parliamentary elections that Egypt’s military rulers vowed Thursday would go on despite ongoing unrest.